Carl Schmitt's critique of liberalism has gained increasing influence in the last few decades. This article focuses on Schmitt's analysis of international law in The Nomos of the Earth, in order to uncover the reasons for his appeal as a critic not only of liberalism but of American hegemonic aspirations as well. Schmitt saw the international legal order that developed after World War I, and particularly the "criminalization of aggressive war," as a smokescreen to hide U.S. aspirations to world dominance. (...) By focusing on Schmitt's critique of Kant's concept of the "unjust enemy," the article shows the limits of Schmitt's views and concludes that Schmitt, as well as left critics of U.S. hegemony, misconstrue the relation between international law and democratic sovereignty as a model of top-down domination. As conflictual as the relationship between international norms and democratic sovereignty can be at times, this needs to be interpreted as one of mediation and not domination. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction Seyla Benhabib; Part I. Freedom, Equality, and Responsibility: 2. Arendt on the foundations of equality Jeremy Waldron; 3. Arendt's Augustine Roy T. Tsao; 4. The rule of the people: Arendt, archê, and democracy Patchen Markell; 5. Genealogies of catastrophe: Arendt on the logic and legacy of imperialism Karuna Mantena; 6. On race and culture: Hannah Arendt and her contemporaries Richard H. King; Part II. Sovereignty, the Nation-State and the Rule of Law: 7. Banishing the (...) sovereign? Internal and external sovereignty in Arendt Andrew Arato and Jean Cohen; 8. The decline of order: Hannah Arendt and the paradoxes of the nation-state Christian Volk; 9. The Eichmann trial and the legacy of jurisdiction Leora Bilsky; 10. International law and human plurality in the shadow of totalitarianism: Hannah Arendt and Raphael Lemkin Seyla Benhabib; Part III. Politics in Dark Times: 11. In search of a miracle: Hannah Arendt and the atomic bomb Jonathan Schell; 12. Hannah Arendt between Europe and America: optimism in dark times Benjamin R. Barber; 13. Keeping the republic: reading Arendt's On Revolution after the fall of the Berlin Wall Dick Howard; Part IV. Judging Evil: 14. Are Arendt's reflections on evil still relevant? Richard Bernstein; 15. Banality reconsidered Susan Neiman; 16. The elusiveness of Arendtian judgment Bryan Garsten; 17. Existential values in Arendt's treatment of evil and morality George Kateb. (shrink)
In my book, The Rights of Others, I developed a discourse-theoretic approach to questions of political membership in liberal democracies, which include practices of citizenship, as well as of immigration, refuge and asylum. This article revisits five issues in response to various criticisms. How can we justify democratic exclusions? Is there a `right to membership' and how can it be reconciled with the different practices of various constitutional democracies? Is there a distinction between normatively acceptable and normatively problematic restrictions on (...) political membership? Does the concept of `democratic iterations' describe normative or empirical processes? How plausible is the binarism of the national and the global? I argue that democratic exclusions can be justified by not discriminating against would-be citizens and immigrants on the basis of ascriptive criteria. Ascriptive characteristics, like one's sex and skin colour, are not the product of one's voluntary doings. Democratic iterations are empirical processes which can be judged in the light of normative criteria deriving from discourse theory. Furthermore, while the binarism of national and global is problematical, alternative configurations of political membership at the present are not more defensible. (shrink)
In these two important lectures, distinguished political philosopher Seyla Benhabib argues that since the UN Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, we have entered a phase of global civil society which is governed by cosmopolitan norms of universal justice--norms which are difficult for some to accept as legitimate since they are sometimes in conflict with democratic ideals. In her first lecture, Benhabib argues that this tension can never be fully resolved, but it can be mitigated through the renegotiation of the (...) dual commitments to human rights and sovereign self-determination. Her second lecture develops this idea in detail, with special reference to recent developments in Europe (for example, the banning of Muslim head scarves in France). The EU has seen the replacement of the traditional unitary model of citizenship with a new model that disaggregates the components of traditional citizenship, making it possible to be a citizen of multiple entities at the same time. The volume also contains a substantive introduction by Robert Post, the volume editor, and contributions by Bonnie Honig (Northwestern University), Will Kymlicka (Queens University), and Jeremy Waldron (Columbia School of Law). (shrink)
This unique volume presents a debate between four of the top feminist theorists in the US today, discussing the key questions facing contemporary feminist theory, responding to each other, and distinguishing their views from others.
Situating the Self is a decisive intervention into debates concerning modernity, postmodernity, ehtics, and the self. It will be of interest to all concerned with critical theory or contemporary ethics.
The article presents information related to Hannah Arendt, who has become one of the most illuminating and certainly one of the most controversial political thinkers of the twentieth century. A tension and a dilemma are at the center of Hannah Arendt's political thought, indicating two formative forces of her spiritual-political identity. Arendt's thinking is decidedly modernist and politically universalist, when she reflects on the political realities of the twentieth century and on the fate of the Jewish people. Hannah Arendt did (...) not engage in methodological reflections and searched for the elements of totalitarianism. (shrink)